Before we dive into the recipe, we want to sit and smugly review the dishes we’ve made this last month:
- Dudley Dursley’s knickerbocker glory
- Hogwarts’ breakfast
- Mrs Weasley’s chicken and ham pie
- Kreacher’s treacle tart
- Hagrid’s treacle toffee, treacle fudge, and tea
- The Three Broomsticks’ Butterbeer
- Hagrid’s stoat sandwiches and McGonagall’s chicken and ham sandwiches
- Mrs Weasley’s rhubarb crumble with custard
Not to mention the many treats our friends brought to our Harry Potter feast. Seriously, it was impressive.
Plus we have finished two Harry Potter food sources:
All in all, we are quite proud of our accomplishments. We have taken our nerdiness to new levels. But of course, our work is far from finished! There’s still a ton of Harry Potter food to try — look for new HP dishes around the holidays, when we plan to explore chipolatas and flaming Christmas pudding.
Author: Rowling, J.K.
Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Difficulty rating: Anna Karenina
Deliciousness rating: Acceptable
‘Out of the way, out of the way!’ sang Mrs Weasley, coming through the gate with what appeared to be a giant, beach-ball-sized Snitch floating in front of her. Seconds later Harry realised that it was his birthday cake, which Mrs Weasley was suspending with her wand rather than risk carrying it over the uneven ground. When the cake had finally landed in the middle of the table, Harry said, ‘That looks amazing, Mrs Weasley.’ (Rowling UK 101, US 119)
MRS WEASLEY’S SNITCH CAKE
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Butterscotch-Pecan Cake recipe
- Vegetable-oil cooking spray, for pans
- 469g all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 10 oz (2 1/2 sticks) KerryGold butter, softened
- 2 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tbs plus 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbs rum, preferably golden or dark
- 1 1/4 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- Flower nails
- 12 oz KerryGold butter (3 sticks), 1 stick left whole, 2 sticks cut into small pieces, softened
- 2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 20 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- Yellow food coloring
- Gold luster dust and a clean brush to apply it
- Butterscotch sauce
- 2/3 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 3 oz (6 tbs) KerryGold butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
1. Make the cakes. Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 2 heat-safe metal bowls with butter, and line the bowls as much as you can with parchment paper. Put a flower nail in the middle of each bowl.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
3. Beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and rum. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with buttermilk. Raise speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes. Divide the batter between the bowls.
4. Bake cakes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean (for ours, it took about an hour).
5. Transfer pans to wire racks, and let cool slightly. Invert cakes onto racks. Let cool.
6. Make the frosting. Brown a stick of butter. Add brown sugar, cream, and salt, stirring until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer to a mixer bowl, and let cool. Add yellow food coloring.
7. With the machine running, add the remaining butter, a few pieces at a time, and beat on low until incorporated. Raise speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes. In another bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar on medium-high until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add brown-butter mixture to cream cheese, and beat until smooth. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled.
8. Make the butterscotch sauce. Mix sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and whisk in cream. Return to heat, and cook for 2 minutes. Let cool slightly.
9. Assemble the cake. Trim each hemisphere, and cut in half (so you can layer more butterscotch sauce and frosting between the sponge.)
Brush butterscotch sauce on cut sides. Spread frosting between the layers, and assemble into a sphere.
11. Brush the cake with gold luster dust to make it all pretty and shiny.
12. Have a children’s librarian cut out wings from glittery silver card stock and stick them in either side of the ball.
Did it measure up?
Obviously, this cake is teeny compared to the book version. Jenne was heading off to her parents’ and I had an after-hours library event to organize as soon as we were done, but we HAD TO post this cake on Harry’s birthday! We were super-rushed, which meant our work was pretty damn sloppy.
Apparently, we are somehow cursed with scheduling our bakes on what turn out to be exceedingly hot days, which means (1) we are sweltering, and (2) our frosting and cakes are always threatening to melt into nothing. Our layers kept sliding and squashing into each other, and by the end, it was sadly lopsided…
The cake and butterscotch sauce were pretty amazing, but we weren’t totally sold on the frosting. I thought the cream cheese didn’t go quite well with the butterscotch flavor; it gave the frosting a strange sour taste. I would just make butterscotch buttercream next time. But we set up a lovely photo shoot with misleading props and shot from the cake’s most flattering angle. Tadaaa! Snitch birthday cake!
Perhaps we will make it again, full-size, for Harry’s birthday next year!
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. London: Bloomsbury, 2007.
Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. New York: Scholastic Inc., 2007.